After conducting a deeper examination on our fintech research platform, we see that exit activity thus far in 2018 is trending slightly lower than in 2017.
2018 Mid-Year Fintech Exit Activity Lower Than 2017 But Higher Than 2016
Let’s take a closer look at the number of fintech exit events by year.
The above graphic shows 38 exits in the first half of 2018. For the past three years, Q3 and Q4 accounted for 50% of total exit events on average. If that trend holds, 2018 will have around 76 exit events. That would be slightly lower than the number of exits in 2017 but higher than that in 2016.
In summary, we observe that the fintech sector’s exit activity in 2018 is trending lower than 2017 but higher than 2016. We’ll see if the second half of the year changes this trend!
Last quarter we determined that fintech funding is maturing. This quarter we are taking a closer look on our fintech research platform to examine funding by category. From this analysis, we conclude that payments-related categories are outperforming all other categories by a wide margin.
This conclusion comes from two important takeaways:
Consumer Payments leads the sector in Q2 funding
Consumer Payments also has the highest funding growth percentage
We’ll explain these takeaways with some graphics and discussions below.
Consumer Payments Leads Fintech in Q2 Funding
To start off, let’s look at fintech category funding in Q2.
The above graphic shows that Consumer Payments leads the sector in Q2 funding with $15B, with Payments Backend right behind at $14.7B. It’s noteworthy that these payments categories are roughly 13 times larger than the next category, Business Lending.
So we’ve witnessed how different fintech categories stack up in their Q2 funding. But how do these categories’ funding growth rates compare with one another? Let’s investigate that in the next section.
Consumer Payments Funding Grew the Fastest in Q2
The graph below shows the all-time funding in fintech categories with the quarterly funding and growth rates highlighted.
The line graph in the above graphic indicates that Consumer Payments and Payments Backend had the highest growth rates and more than doubled their funding in Q2.
Although the bar graph demonstrates that Consumer Lending leads in all-time funding with $29B, the two payments-related categories, Consumer Payments and Payments Backend, aren’t far behind with $28B and $27B, respectively.
Conclusion: Payments-Related Fintech Categories Saw Massive Growth Last Quarter
In summary, we have analyzed the fintech funding amounts in different fintech categories. We’ve discovered that Consumer Payments leads in Q2 funding and had the highest growth percentage, with Payments Backend in a close second place for both metrics. It’ll be interesting to see if any other fintech categories will see similarly large growth in the rest of 2018.
The financial technology sector has seen a lot of momentum in funding and exits in recent years. As we previously noted, fintech funding has shifted to later stages and its exit events have skyrocketed.
We will now take a closer look at the different components of financial technology and how they make up this startup ecosystem. We have classified the companies into 16 categories. This blog post will illustrate what these categories are and which categories have the most companies. We will also look at how these categories compare with one another in terms of their funding and maturity.
Consumer Lending Is the Largest Financial Technology Category
Let’s start off by looking at the Sector Map for the financial technology sector. As of March 2018, we have classified 2407 financial technology startups into 16 categories that have raised $90 billion. The Sector Map highlights the number of companies in each category. It also shows a random sampling of companies in each category.
We see that Consumer Lending is the largest category with 321 companies. These companies offer new ways for consumers to obtain personal loans and have their credit risks assessed. They include peer-to-peer lending, micro-financing, big data analytics, and consumer credit scoring services. Some example companies are SoFi, CommonBond, Avant, and Lufax.
We have seen what the different categories making up this sector are and the number of companies in each. What about their funding and maturity in relation to one another? Let’s look at our Innovation Quadrant to find out.
Payments Backend Is the Heavyweight Category in Financial Technology
Our Innovation Quadrant divides the financial technology categories into four different quadrants.
We see that the Pioneers quadrant has the most financial technology categories with 10. The Pioneer categories are in the earlier stages of funding and maturity. The Disruptors quadrant contains three categories: Consumer Lending, Business Lending, and Consumer Payments. These three categories have acquired significant financings at a young age. The Established quadrant includes Banking Infrastructure and Transaction Security. These two categories have reached maturity with less financing. The Heavyweights quadrant contains the Payments Backend category. This category has reached maturity with significant financing.
It’s interesting to see that both lending categories, Consumer Lending and Business Lending, are Disruptors. This indicates that lending startups have transformed the fintech industry with their venture capital backing at early ages. In addition, the Heavyweight category, Payments Backend, is the one that leads fintech in exit activity as we saw in our exits blog post. This makes sense since mature and well-funded companies are more likely to be acquired or go public than those that aren’t.
We’ve now seen the financial technology categories and their relative stages of innovation. How do these categories stack up against one another? Let’s look at the Total Funding and Company Count Graph.
Consumer Lending Startups Have the Most Funding and Companies
The graph below shows the total amount of venture funding and company count in each category.
As noted earlier, the Consumer Lending category leads financial technology with 321 companies. In addition, the above graphic highlights that Consumer Lending also leads in funding with over $28 billion. Some of the best-funded companies in this category are JD Finance ($3.01B), SoFi ($2.08B), and Avant ($1.78B).
It’s noteworthy that the funding in Consumer Lending is 81% higher than the funding in the next category, Business Lending. Business Lending companies offer new ways for businesses to raise debt financing and have their credit risks assessed. Some example companies include Bond Street, LendInvest, BlueVine, and Funding Circle.
Conclusion: The Consumer Lending Category Leads the Fintech Sector
From the above analysis, we can see the Consumer Lending category leads financial technology in funding and company count. On the other hand, the Payments Backend category stands out as the Heavyweight category in our Innovation Quadrant. It has reached maturity with significant average funding per company versus other categories. It’ll be interesting to see how the financial technology landscape will change and develop throughout the rest of 2018.
Funding amounts are shifting from early-stage to later-stage events
Funding counts are dropping in the Seed round and growing elsewhere
We’ll explain these takeaways with some graphics that show fintech funding activity by round.
To help set the stage, the graphic below illustrates fintech funding amounts over time. As you can see, the sector’s overall funding showed robust growth over the past few years.
Fintech Funding Amounts Shifting to Later-Stage Events
Let’s examine the fintech funding amounts by round as a percentage of the total, which show changes independent of the total size.
As shown in the graph, the funding amounts dropped in the Seed and Series A rounds and increased in the Late Stage from 2012 to 2017. Specifically, Seed round funding amounts shrunk from 9% to 3%, and Series A amounts shrunk from 23% to 11%. On the other hand, Late Stage funding amounts grew from 2% to 24% over the same time period.
We see that the funding amount percentages by round indicate a shift from early-stage to later-stage events from 2012 to 2017, would the funding event count graph show the same trend? Let’s examine that in the next section to find out.
Fintech Funding Counts Dropping in Seed Round and Growing in All Other Rounds
The below graph shows the fintech funding counts by round as a percentage of total events.
This graph supports our previous observation from the funding amount graph. In particular, Seed round funding counts decreased from 63% to 30% from 2012 to 2017. As a result, the funding counts in all other rounds increased by various magnitudes.
Conclusion: Fintech Sector Continues to Mature Over Time
In summary, we have seen that fintech funding amounts shifted from Seed and Series A to later-stage events. Fintech funding counts also dropped in the Seed round and grew in all other rounds. These observations led us to conclude that the fintech sector is continuing to mature over time.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section below.
Last quarter we reviewed fintech exit trends and found robust growth. This quarter we went one level deeper on our fintech research platform and conclude that the Payments Backend category leads fintech exit activity. Companies in this category include technologies impacting payment issuers and acquirers, as well as the infrastructure enabling payments.
This conclusion was derived from three takeaways:
Payments Backend leads fintech in the number of exits
Payments Backend leads fintech in the acquisition amount
Payments Backend also leads fintech in the exit ratio
We’ll illustrate these takeaways with some graphics that show fintech exit activity by category.
To help set the stage, the graphic below shows fintech exit activity over time. As you can see, the sector is experiencing strong growth in exits.
Payments Backend Leads Fintech in the Number of Exits
We’ll start off by examining the exit events in each fintech category. Exit events include both acquisitions and IPOs. The below graph highlights the number of fintech exit events by category.
This graph shows that Payments Backend leads the sector with 55 exit events. Consumer Payments and Personal Finance come next, with 44 and 43 exit events.
Let’s now see how fintech categories compare with one another by acquisition amount.
Payments Backend Leads Fintech in the Acquisition Amount
The graph below shows the acquisition amounts in different fintech categories.
We can see from this graph that Payments Backend leads all the other fintech categories by far. The total acquisition amount in this category approximates $25 billion. It’s noteworthy that Payments Backend’s acquisition amount is more than twice the next category, Consumer Payments.
Payments Backend has seen some large acquisitions in recent years. Nets was acquired by Hellman & Friedman in September 2017 for around $5B. Bambora was acquired by the Ingenico Group in July 2017 for around $2 billion. Worldpay was acquired by Vantiv in July 2017 for slightly under $10 billion.
The acquisition amount in Payments Backend represents 31% of that across all fintech categories.
We’ve now seen the leaders in fintech exit activity by event count and acquisition amount. What about the ratio of exit events to the total number of companies in the category? Let’s look at the Exit Ratio by Category graph to find out.
Payments Backend Leads Fintech in the Exit Ratio
The graph below shows the total exits divided by total companies in fintech categories.
Payments Backend, Transaction Security, and Consumer Payments are the leaders in this metric. 24% of Payments Backend companies have been acquired or gone public. The same is true for 23% of Transaction Security companies and 21% of Consumer Payments companies.
In conclusion, we have examined fintech exit activity by exit events, acquisition amount, and exit ratio. Payments Backend is the category that leads the sector in all three metrics. Its abundance of exit activity indicates that it is one of the most mature and well-established fintech categories.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section below.